Overwatch

5.7

Parent Approved Hero

6.0/10

Appropriate Combat

7.0/10

Constructive Language

5.0/10

Spiritually Sound

8.0/10

Family Safe

5.0/10

Safe for Time and Money

2.0/10

Positive Messages

7.0/10

Positive

  • Fast-paced
  • Accessible gameplay
  • In-depth character stories
  • Creative FPS idea
  • Minimal Gore

Concern

  • Requires massive time
  • Only played online w/ others
  • Frenetic pace = fatigue, over-stimulation
  • Violence is essential
  • Some characters are evil

Overwatch: Accessible FPS

Overwatch is a fast-paced fantasy first-person shooter (fps) created by Blizzard Entertainment. Players choose heroes who are part of an international task force to bring peace and order to the world. The tagline for this game is:

“The World Needs Heroes.”

The gameplay and combat are mostly safe for young gamers. However, the pace of the game is highly-stimulating. Additionally, the game can only be played online and the competitors have been growing steadily less friendly.

This game is one to watch for attitude and behavior changes in your gamer.

The Verdict: Skip It

Game Grade

Parent Approved Hero: 6/10

  • You can choose from a list of heroes – some of whom are more appropriate than others.
  • It appears that in the future armor is a bit more flattering than it is today.
  • Many of the heroes are fighting for global peace. Some are a bit more selfish – Black Widow is an assassin. Reaper is a global terrorist.
  • Heroes always settle their differences in violent combat.

Appropriate Combat:  7/10

Overwatch: Road Hog
Overwatch: Team Combat
  • There is a lot of fighting. It includes explosions, death cries and some blood.
  • Some of the heroes use abilities that wouldn’t pass the Geneva Convention (poison gas, bear traps, grappling hooks).
  • Combat is incredibly fast-paced. This can cause massive dumps of adrenaline. It also can cause headaches and fatigued eyes or what gamers generally term “eye murder”.
  • You have to plan your kills if you’re going to do well.
  • The pace and quantity of killing is pretty intense.

Constructive Language: 5/10

  • There isn’t any swearing in game but there is plenty of it from other players.
  • This game can only be played online with other players.
  • There is a way to mute in-game sound. It does take away from coordination and team play.

Spiritually Sound: 8/10

  • The abilities and world of Overwatch are based on a futuristic reality. Tech allows for special abilities.
  • There are no demons, specific religions, or other spiritual red flags.
  • The only problem-solving allowed is violence.

Family Safe: 5/10

  • +Engaging character stories and colors.
  • +No swearing, sex, or gratuitous gore.
  • +/-Fast-paced action.
  • -Game can only be played online with others.
  • -Lots of violence.

Safe for Time and Money : 2/10

  • Overwatch is not “beatable”. The goal is to rank up, and it takes hundreds of hours to be great at this game.
  • The DLC or other content for Overwatch come with the cost of the game ($40-$60).
  • Getting legendary skins and other desirable items are free, but take a lot of time.
  • Special events are put out to incentivize time investment.

Positive Message: 7/10

  • Many of the character stories include positive messages such as selflessness, bravery, and redemption.
  • Overwatch prides itself on including characters that resonate with today’s American culture, including one of the first-ever lesbian heroes. 
  • Overwatch keeps the battlefields focused on combatants.
  • The overall message still makes fighting seem epic, fun, and desirable. Hardly a lesson we want. They do manage to make it cartoony enough that it is somewhat disconnected from reality.

 Gospel Connection

Discuss these with your gamer sometime this week. Pick a car ride, a family dinner, or other time together and talk through how the gospel connects to this game.

Q: There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4). What does it look like to have a time to kill in this broken world we live in? How does Overwatch manage a balance between these times?

Q: Jesus shows us, and tells us, that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44) and to not take revenge (Romans 12:19) How does Overwatch draw a distinction between enemies, violence, and personal vengeance? How does it measure up with the gospel?

 

Game Alternatives:

splatoon 2
Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 is a team-based shooter that focuses on covering the map with paint. Eliminating players through shooting is a secondary focus. The game is fun, fast-paced, and family safe.

 

 

 

SW Battlefront 2
Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2005):  This original Star Wars Battlefront 2 (as compared with the one being released 2017) has fun game play, good graphics, and a feeling akin to laser tag rather than killing fields.

 

 

 

 

This gameplay trailer will introduce you to the feel of the game, the pace of play, as well as the original heroes.

 

 

You can also look over the details of the Video Game Scoring Guide.